Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham dismissed a Wall Street Journal report alleging that the IRGC is recruiting Afghan refugees to fight in Syria, saying the report is “completely baseless” and aimed at “damaging Iran’s face in Afghanistan”.
“The claim by the American paper is completely baseless and is aimed at damaging Iran’s face in Afghanistan,” the spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon commenting on the WSJ report.
She further lamented that the report “induces a fully inhuman look at the citizens of the friendly and neighboring country of Afghanistan”.
“Afghan officials have also rejected this allegation,” Afkham reminded.
She said the failure of the strategy of launching a Taliban war in Syria has pushed those who had pinned hope on this strategy to resort to promulgating lies and fabrications and provoking the sentiments of the people in Iran’s neighboring country, Afghanistan.
“The report is an insult to the Afghan people and the Wall Street Journal needs to extend its apology to the people of Afghanistan for this insult,” the spokeswoman reiterated.
The WSJ claimed in a report on Friday that Iran has been recruiting thousands of Shiite Afghan refugees to fight in Syria, offering $500 a month and Iranian residency to help the Syrian government beat back rebel forces.
The WSJ report said Spokesman of the Iranian mission at the UN Hamid Babaei, in response to a question by the American paper, has rejected the claim, saying the “allegations that Iran is sending Afghan refugees to Syria as fighters are unfounded”.
“Iranian presence in the country is solely advisory in nature in order to help counter the extremist… al-Qaeda groups from committing more massacre and bloodshed,” Babaei added, according to the paper.
Iranian state and military officials have repeatedly rejected the western governments and media claims that Iran has soldiers in Syria, stressing that the country is only helping Damascus with military advice in compliance with the two states’ defense and security pacts.